How To Write An Abstract For A Research Paper With Samples
The major purpose of an abstract is to offer a preview of your research paper. Abstracts include sufficient information for readers to judge the nature and significance of the research topic, the adequacy of the investigative strategy, the nature of the results, finds and the conclusions.
Thus, an abstract in a brief summary of your research paper and your whole project. It should have an intro, body and conclusion and must be understandable to the readers. Abstracts in a research paper are strictly limited and no more than 300 words.
Within these few words, point out in clear terms the overall purpose of the study and the research problem(s) you investigated, the basic design of the study, major findings or trends found as a result of your analysis. This key information must be included to grab attention and make a good first impression to someone who may want to examine your work either on paper or through electronic means.
Just the way you spend time thinking about good research project topics, writing a professional-looking abstract for a research paper also takes time, It is better to put off writing an abstract for a research paper until a few days before the final deadline for submission. This is especially important for first-time authors, who will benefit from discussing the research paper and from going over preliminary drafts with someone who has more experience.
Formatting Abstract For A Research Paper
Abstracts for a research paper should be formatted as a single paragraph in a block format and with no paragraph indentations. In most cases, the abstract page immediately follows the title page. Except there is a guideline, do not number the page. In general, you should centre the word “Abstract” at the top of the page with double spacing between the heading and the abstract.
Guide for writing an abstract for a research paper
- Write the abstract only after you have finished writing your research paper.
- Pick out the major objectives/hypotheses and conclusions from your Introduction and Conclusion sections.
- Select key sentences and phrases from your Methods section.
- Identify the major results of your Results section.
- Now, arrange the sentences and phrases selected in steps 2, 3, and 4 into a single paragraph in the following sequence: Introduction, Methods, Results, and Conclusions.
- Make sure that this paragraph does not contain
- new information that is not present in the paper
- undefined abbreviations or group names
- a discussion of previous literature or reference citations
- unnecessary details about the methods used
- Remove all extra information and then link your sentences to ensure that the information flows well, preferably in the following order: purpose; basic study design, methodology and techniques used; major findings; summary of your interpretations, conclusions, and implications.
- Confirm that there is consistency between the information presented in the abstract and in the research paper.
- Ask a colleague to review your abstract and check if the purpose, aims, methods, and conclusions of the study are clearly stated.
- Check to see if the final abstract meets the guidelines of the target journal (word limit, type of abstract, recommended subheadings, etc.).
Abstract for a research paper should not contain:
- Lengthy background or contextual information,
- Redundant phrases, unnecessary adverbs and adjectives, and repetitive information;
- Acronyms or abbreviations,
- References to other literature [say something like, “current research shows that…” or “studies have indicated…”],
- Using ellipticals [i.e., ending with “…”] or incomplete sentences,
- Jargon or terms that may be confusing to the reader,
- Citations to other works, and
- Any sort of image, illustration, figure, or table, or references to them.